While it looked for a while like 2020 was going to be the year of the virus, it eventually shaped up to look more like the year of the looter. We’ve seen so many riots, complete with looting, that I honestly have a hard time keeping up. So many looters, so little time.
The various forms of unrest ranging from rioting to peaceful but concerning protests have been everywhere. What’s more, we’ve seen bupkis coming from Democratic mayors of the large cities–these things almost always happen in large, Democrat-controlled cities–that really try to address these issues.
Now, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has an idea that is sure to make some waves. He wants to make it legal to shoot them.
The law would expand the state’s self-defense law, which currently forbids “the use of force in defense of property,” by increasing what constitutes a “forcible felony,” according to the Miami Herald. DeSantis seeks to make looting or “interruption or impairment” of a business such a felony, thereby justifying deadly force to prevent it, the local outlet reported.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, has drafted “anti-mob” legislation that would expand Florida’s Stand Your Ground law that critics say would allow armed citizens to shoot suspected looters or anyone engaged in “criminal mischief” that disrupts a businesshttps://t.co/tVEgmnWmIr
— Hamza Shaban (@hshaban) November 10, 2020
The Republican’s bill would also make it a third-degree felony to obstruct traffic, and would allow drivers to have legal immunity if they unintentionally kill or maim anyone engaging in blocking a roadway during a demonstration, according to the Herald. The law, which is only a draft at the time of publishing, is also set to grant state authorities the ability to withhold funds from localities that choose to reduce their police budgets, the local outlet reported.
Oh, boy. That’s going to be interesting.
For what it’s worth, I don’t actually have any disagreement with the obstructing traffic measure, either making it a felony or providing legal immunity to those who may unintentionally harm someone who is doing such a thing. We’ve seen too many cases of the mob obstructing traffic, then beating people within an inch of their lives for me to ignore the real implications of such obstructions.
As for shooting looters, I don’t know how I feel about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I despise looters. These thugs used what may have been legitimate grievances about police abuse and decided it was a hell of a time to grab a new television. It’s honestly something everyone should oppose.
On the same token, does it really rise to the level of a threat to human life? Is this something we should shoot people over?
Even if I do come to accept this as fine–and I’m not sold either way–I have concerns about how the bill appears to be phrased. The idea that “interruption or impairment” of a business is grounds for shooting someone, well, it seems kind of vague. What specifically constitutes an interruption or an impairment? I mean, some Karen demanding to see the manager is definitely interrupting normal business, but is it grounds for shooting her?
On the same token, looters are destroying livelihoods and are threatening the safety of people.
There’s going to be a lot of debate on this one and I’ll be watching it closely. If Florida goes this route, expect to see more states embrace this kind of thing.
For what it’s worth, though, I do think the passage of such a bill will definitely have an impact on looting. Only a fool would loot somewhere that they know they can be shot.
So, now that I say that, I supposed it would still be a target-rich environment.